Jean Rouch and Robert Garnder come to mind. Both were prolific ethnographic 
filmmakers, but for Rouch I’d recommend Chronicle of a Summer (1960), The Mad 
Masters (1955), and Jaguar (1967), and for Garnder Dead Birds (1964). Chronicle 
is especially interesting because Rouch turns the “other-izing” gaze of the 
ethnographic documentary to a group of white Parisians. 

There are plenty of others, but Rouch and Garnder stand as the major figures of 
ethnographic documentary, at least as far as white male filmmakers are 
concerned (obviously Trinh Minh-ha and Germaine Dieterlen, among others, are 
important filmmakers in this canon, not to mention Margaret Mead). But I 
wouldn’t say that their films deserve a collective eye roll; if the genre has 
declined into cliche (I’m not saying it has, just that I don’t know) I wouldn’t 
fault these filmmakers. Certainly when the representatives of one culture make 
films about another there are all sorts of potential pitfalls, but Rouch and 
Garnder approached the task knowingly and reflexively. I don’t believe they 
worked under the assumption that their acts of “putting minorities onscreen” 
was a simple matter (and are the African men and women in many of their films 
“minorities?” They would be a members of a racial minority in the U.S. or 
Europe, but not in Africa, I’d say).

Hope this helps.

Dr. Jonathan Walley
Associate Professor
Department of Cinema
Denison University

> On May 1, 2015, at 12:54 PM, Chris Freeman 
> <> wrote:
> I've seen them by independent filmmakers at micro cinema screenings.  I mean 
> what are the big ones that have come over the last 100 years of cinema that 
> have made it a trope?  I only know Nanook of the North.
> On Friday, May 1, 2015, < 
> <>> wrote:
> You seem to contradict yourself: you say 'whenever I see' etc, but then ask 
> 'what are some (of these films)'? If you know you've seen some, how come you 
> can't identify them?
> Nicky. 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Chris Freeman < 
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','');>>
> To: 
> <javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','');>
> Sent: Fri, 1 May 2015 13:15
> Subject: [Frameworks] Ethnographic films / studies of The Other
> Whenever I see an ethnographic travelogue or some study of "the other" by a 
> white male at a screening, there's always a collective eye roll of "great, 
> another white male putting minorities on the screen."  I know the trope, but 
> I don't actually know any of those specific cliche films.  What are some?
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